What is Forest CLT?
A. Forest CLT is a Community Land Trust with the mission of creating truly affordable, community-led housing in Waltham Forest to help our community to be sustainable and resilient both socially and environmentally. We are a lively and growing membership society, with members from all walks of life in the borough. Many people are involved with the aim of solving their own and their community’s housing problems, whereas others are local professionals and supporters who share the CLT’s community empowerment, affordable housing, and low environmental impact ethos and want to contribute their time, skills and knowledge.
Who owns and runs Forest CLT?
A.There is no ‘owner’, the membership controls FCLT and elects a Board each year to run it. So anyone can get involved and shape the project.
Do you make a profit?
A.No, Forest CLT is a not-for-profit organisation. We need to break even and make a small surplus to stay operating, but none of this can be transferred outside the CLT to individual people.
Can I be a member?
A.Yes! You can be a member whether or not you are interested in a Forest CLT home yourself. Membership costs £1 and you can donate more if you wish!
How big is the project?
A.Our current plans include about 50 new-build homes, shared gardens and a community hub.
Is it houses or flats?
A.For reasons of financial viability the majority of the homes will be generously sized flats rather than houses, but it may be possible to include some 2-storey homes. All homes will have a balcony or terrace as well as shared gardens.
Am I eligible for a home?
A.We are currently drawing up an allocations policy and discussing it with the council. At the moment, to be eligible you need to:
Lived or worked in Waltham Forest for at least 2 years or have a significant family connection
Be able to afford the CLT home you want (including any housing benefit for rental homes), but not be able to afford a similar home on the open market
Be a member of Forest CLT and contribute to the project
If there are more applicants than homes available we are planning that homes will be allocated according to the contribution made.
Can I rent or buy?
A.Both! Our current plans include 10 social rental homes, 10 affordable rental homes (known as ‘London Living Rent’), 15 for shared ownership and 15 to buy. All homes will remain affordable in perpetuity, which means if you buy one and its value increases you won’t be able to sell it for a large profit, so it remains affordable for the next person.
How long will the rental tenancies be?
A.Our aim is for lifetime tenancies so that you can rent at Forest CLT for as long as you wish. For the social homes this will rely on our negotiations with the council.
Who will my landlord be?
A.Our aim is that your landlord will be Forest CLT so the site is managed by all residents working together! This depends on agreement with the council.
How big will the homes be?
A.There will be 1-bed to 4-bed homes and a 6-bed shared home for teens/young adults
How much will it cost to live here?
A.There are several tenures to meet different people’s needs, approximate costs are:
Social rental homes will cost £500 per month for a 1-bed to £715 per month for a 3-bed – these are similar to council rents.
London Living Rent homes will cost £810 per month for a 1-bed to £900 for a 2-bed.
Shared Ownership will start from £90,000 for a 25% share of a 1-bed, to £120,000 for a 25% share of a 3-bed. Rent is payable on the part that you don’t own, ranging from £540 to £750 per month.
Sale homes will cost around 20% less than the open market value and must be resold for the same discount to the next person.
Do I need a deposit?
A.You do not need a deposit for the rental homes. For the shared ownership homes you will need a 5-10% deposit, so around £8,000-£15,000 depending on the size of the home. For the sale homes you will need the usual minimum 10% deposit, around £25,000 for a 1-bed or £35,000 for a 3-bed.
Have you got some land?
A.We don’t have land secured yet but we are negotiating with Waltham Forest Council for a small part of the Low Hall Depot site, next to Barn Croft School.
When will you start building and when will the homes be complete?
A.At this early stage it is difficult to be certain, but we hope to start in 2021 and complete the homes in 2023, so a few years away yet!
Will I have to actually build it myself?
A.No, you won’t need to literally build yourself, the CLT will employ a contractor to construct the project. But there will be opportunities for self-build of the community hub and finishing of your own home.
How do I get involved?
A. Please sign up to be a member here or come along to one of our regular meetings and events.